Since the advent of the internet, millions of entrepreneurs around the world have come out of the woodworks to claim their piece of the virtual pie. While the opportunities are vast, the fact that so many people are utilizing this powerful tool means the competition is brutal. Even if your website idea occupies a very specific niche, you’re likely going to face thousands of tough competitors.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial in helping your website survive—or even thrive, despite the competition. The basic idea is to write better content, build links, and improve your site’s backend code so it can rank higher in Google searches, thereby getting more visibility and traffic.
While you may spend hours or even pay someone else to employ the appropriate measures to get the traffic you need, these efforts are made in vain if you don’t check your website rankings regularly. This information will help you not only gauge whether your strategies are working, but also evaluate how you stand against the competition—and identify key opportunities for the future.
The trouble is, Google doesn’t explicitly publish this information. Instead, you’ll need the help of one (or more) third-party tools to see where you’re ranking for keywords and phrases relevant to your business.
These are some of the best:
Google doesn’t specifically publish keyword rankings in a comprehensive tool, nor does it publish how it algorithmically calculates search rankings (at least not specifically). However, if you feel like experimenting, you can plug in different keywords and combinations of keywords to see what the search engine results pages (SERPs) look like for those words and phrases. This is a manually intensive effort, and one that won’t give you data as robust as the other tools on this list, but it is an option.
One other thing to note if you decide to use this approach: your search results are highly personalized, based on your account history and your geographic location, so if you want to see the “true” national results for your queries, you’ll need to log out and strip away the geographic data.
SEMRush is an innovative tool focused on helping online entrepreneurs with an all-in-one marketing toolkit. With it, you can check on a variety of aspects regarding the success of their website. For starters, online entrepreneurs are able to track the rankings of their websites and the sites of their competitors daily. Being quickly alerted of a significant shift allows you to make the necessary changes in order to keep up with others in your niche; for example, you might notice that your top competitor overtook you for your most valuable keyword, so you can quickly tweak your strategy to compensate for the change.
Semrush also allows web owners the ability to receive beneficial reports that break down the current position of keywords they are using. While a specific keyword that worked well during the launch of your site may have helped your ranking in the past, the internet is an ever-changing landscape, and being aware of new keywords that would better suit your site helps keep your rankings high. Best of all, Semrush even offers weekly reports that analyze the progress for the past seven days for each of your campaigns, allowing you the convenience of email access as opposed to having to constantly visit the interface for the information that’s important to you.
Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker is a handy tool to track your ups and downs in organic search. It allows you to monitor both desktop and mobile rankings for multiple keywords, up to 10K to be exact. As Google generates different SERPs for different locations, you can monitor keywords in up to 170 different countries. You can go even further and specify the necessary state (or, say, county if it’s the UK) and city. Such a state-and-city-wide drill down makes this tool perfect for tracking positions in hyperlocal SERPs.
Along the way, you can gain more insights into your progress, particularly how much traffic you earn from each position, and if you could make it to any of SERP features. Feel free to compare your results with competitors to understand who’s a frontrunner and where you might be able to improve. Charts illustrate your overall ranking progress over time, while filters are there to make the data more specific. If you enable automatic email notifications, you’ll be able to keep up on your rankings without logging in to the dashboard.
Alexa- The Web Information Company also offers valuable products to utilize in the tracking of your website. Their metrics are certified, and they reveal how much of the traffic revealed in your reports are from real people. While many tools do not allow you to make such a differentiation, the ability to understand this often overlooked factor allows you to get a better look at your actual statistics. It is easy for anyone to find just what they are looking for in web tracking as they offer various packages with different levels of features and benefits.
Alexa’s uptime monitor is another valuable tool to help increase your rankings. This tool allows you to see at what times during the day or night your site was up and when it was down. By pinpointing the times your website experiences problems, you can take the appropriate measures to fix it. Customers also receive access to a valuable site comparison tool. With the simple click of a mouse, you can see which of your competitors are receiving significant traffic, and you can even compare how your site measures up to those yielding notable results.
Another tool, which offers a valuable free trial run, is Web CEO’s SEO Analytics tool. Here, you can measure dozens of statistics related to your website, including how your landing pages are performing, the speed of your website, and potential SEO issues with your site. You’ll even get a built-in DIY SEO checklist, so you can know what to work on next. Of course, you’ll also be able to research keywords and phrases and monitor your rankings over time.
Small SEO Tools has several tools made to help you improve your SEO strategy, but one of the most convenient is their SEO keyword position tracker. To use it, you’ll simply enter the domain name you’re trying to check (either yours or one of your competitors’) as well as a selection of up to 10 different keywords, with one keyword per line. You can then select a search engine (including Google in different languages and locations) and determine whether you want to view ranking information for desktop or mobile searches. This is especially handy if you’re trying to optimize for mobile devices.
SERPs.com has a free rank checker you can use to see how your domain is growing in terms of domain authority and search engine rankings. It offers more than 100 different country and language combinations, as well as support for multiple different search engines, so you can see how your site is ranking all over the world.
RankChecker.net is a stripped-down, free tool that’s useful if you’re just looking for some quick, high-level data about how your site is ranking. You can only determine your rankings for up to 10 keywords and phrases, and there aren’t any additional features like automated reporting, but you can search through Google, Yahoo!, and other search engines, and check search rankings for any domain on the web. When you use it, you’ll also get suggestions for how to improve your site (and offsite strategy) to boost those rankings over time.
SERPWatcher by Mangools is an easy to understand tool that you can set up in less than 30 seconds. With both desktop and mobile support, you can calculate your search rankings and view real-time data on your domain’s performance on practically any digital device. You’ll also be able to use it to track your local rankings, allowing you to filter out geographic factors that might interfere with your visibility at certain levels. You can also set up automated, regular reports, and share those reports with others with a single click.
There’s also AccuRanker, a rank tracker designed for SEO professionals and SEO agencies. It claims to be the world’s fastest keyword rank tracker, and offers a 14-day free trial so you can test it out before you buy it. Like many of the tools on this list, it thoroughly covers your search rankings for various keyword terms, but also offers detailed metrics related to several dimensions of your SEO strategy. You can refresh your keywords on a regular basis, getting up-to-the-minute data, and generate automated reports, so you’re always in the know about your site’s performance.
Traffic Travis isn’t as robust as some of the other tools on this list, but it’s free, which could be a huge plus. After downloading this tool, you’ll be able to check the search engine rankings and overall SEO health of your domain (or your competitors’ domains). Over time, you’ll be able to chart how your rankings increase over time, and if you hit a plateau or a period of stagnation, you can use the tool to identify the factors that might be holding you back, like incorrect H1 tags or missing alt tags on your web pages.
Finally, there’s Moz’s Rank Tracker. Moz has been a leading authority in the SEO space for years, so it makes sense they would have one of the best rank checkers on the market. Available only to Moz Pro users, you can use this tool to discover how your pages are ranking for specified keywords and phrases, and track how those rankings change over time. With it, you can log in whenever it’s convenient (or whenever you want an update), or schedule automated reports to hit your inbox at designated intervals (i.e., weekly or monthly). There are also many variables to play around with, such as differentiating between your local and global rankings, and you can track your competitors’ search rankings at the same time.
While thousands create new websites every day, most fail. These innovative tools can help you monitor your progress, analyzing exactly which tactics are helping you improve your visibility and which ones are holding you back. But you still need strong fundamentals in SEO if you want your site to succeed.
If you’re interested in help auditing your current SEO efforts, or if you’re ready to hire an SEO agency to help you execute the work necessary to boost your rankings, contact SEO.co today! We’ll provide you with a free analysis of your current site, and work with you to complete a plan for how to finally trounce your online competitors.